Kidnappings in Mexico

Kidnapping in Mexico has been a big security problem for several years now. A crime previously unheard of, kidnappings are now common, fueled by a number of circumstances. Chief among them is the fact that authorities are completely inept and bound to be useless in cases of kidnapping. Many times former police staff have been involved in this crime. Naturally, then, when a family suffers a kidnapping, the last thing that crosses their mind is reporting this to the authorities.

Once again, Mexico exhibits its kafkian nature: if you work hard and get rich, you’re a target for kidnappers. Even if you don’t get rich, you’re still a target. And are most kidnappers poor people who do this out of necessity? no, they’re already quite wealthy but will keep doing this because it’s more profitable than having a company or investing in the stock market.

Fernando Martí, a wealthy sports store owner, had his son kidnapped and murdered earlier this year. The case received a lot of publicity mainly because he’s a well-known businessman. Not even government officials are safe from this: Nelson Vargas, who was president of the national sports commision, also had his daughter kidnapped, about a year ago. However, as is most usual, he kept quiet about this: the public only knew about this when, after Martí’s murder, Vargas made a public statement revealing his plight. Back then he pleaded for the authorities to do something. Today, however, he exploded and actually, amidst profanities, demanded, in a press conference, that the authorities find his daughter. As usual, said authorities are clueless: even Vargas has provided them with clues and insight on who might be responsible and where to begin investigating. And still nothing. Who are they protecting? Shouldn’t we all be really worried that even an important man like Vargas is ignored? or is the true reason to worry seeing that the authorities just don’t know what they are doing?

Another related article tells about a 15-year old who escaped the safehouse where he was being held for ransom and told the authorities, who then proceeded to catch the criminals. So here we have it, short of someone telling them “I was kidnapped, I escaped and they live in this house over here”, nothing will be done to help the victims.

So how did the kid escape? “the kidnappers were sloppy”, authorities explain, “and were not very experienced in this business. Just a bunch of beginners”. They say this with utmost confidence and almost arrogance.

Please! Wake up! They need to realize that this comes from the fact that Mexico has diminishing, instead of increasing, opportunities. So what are people going to do? indeed, they are being forced into kidnapping because there’s nothing else to do. And they target your average citizen, in this case the son of a moderately successful couple of street merchants. The fact that this particular band was unsuccessful shouldn’t be a cause for self-congratulating. It should be a wakeup call that while something needs to be done to curb crime in all its forms, the true heart of the problem is the lack of honest opportunities in Mexico. As long as there are none, people will resort to the next easiest way to make money. Drug dealing yesterday, kidnapping today, and I can only wonder in fear about the “self-made opportunities” for tomorrow’s Mexico.

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